Health experts call for more investment in nurses and midwives

May 12, 2020 - 19:14
Health experts called for further investment in education, jobs and leadership for nurses and midwives at a ceremony to celebrate International Nurses Day (May 12) in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
A practical session for nursing students at Hà Tĩnh Medical College in central Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn

HÀ NỘI — Health experts called for further investment in education, jobs and leadership for nurses and midwives at a ceremony to celebrate International Nurses Day (May 12) in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

The event is part of a major three-year "Nursing Now" campaign from 2018 to 2020, aimed at improving health by empowering nursing around the world.

The World Health Organisation and International Council of Nurses‘ campaign aims to attract the attention of national and international leaders about the essential role of nurses and midwives in keeping the world healthy.

The campaign focused on five core areas, including nursing and midwives deeply participating in health policy making; improving the quality of nursing human resources; enhancing the leading role of nursing; identifying areas where nurses can have the greatest impact; and sharing best care practices.

“Nurses and midwives have increasingly played an important role in improving the quality of healthcare services as well as improving their professional positions and images,” said Prof. Dr. Lương Ngọc Khuê, Director of the Medical Services Administration under the Ministry of Health, at the event.

Khuê stressed that the nursing team also made very important and effective contributions in the fields of policy development, care management, training, care practice and scientific research.

“Quality of patient care has improved remarkably through the renewal of models of care assignment, patient care organisation and standardisation of nursing techniques. Especially in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and midwifes have made very effective contributions with doctors and other health workers to gradually drive back the virus,” said Khuê.

President of the Việt Nam Nurses Association Phạm Đức Mục said that during the fight against COVID-19, thousands of Vietnamese nurses were courageous in dealing professionally with dangerous diseases.

“The COVID-19 pandemic helps us gain a deeper and more persuasive view on the contribution of nurses and midwives, as frontline soldiers. They overcame the risks of the pandemic, embarked in dangerous places, coordinated with physicians, carried out a series of activities such as: screening, isolation, infection control, monitoring, and provided quality care and a spiritual support for COVID-19 patients.”

“The success in COVID-19 prevention and control in Việt Nam is a great achievement of the entire political system and the health sector, in which it is impossible not to mention the great and silent contribution of nurses,” added Mục.

The Việt Nam Nurses Association representative also requested the health ministry to handle shortcomings which are considered bottlenecks affecting the quality of nursing services. They include the shortage of human resources in nursing; reforming nurse education programmes following standards recommended by WHO and ASEAN member states; enhancing the positions of nurse managers in participating in making health policy.

According to the association, since 1990, the nursing management system has been established from central to provincial health departments and hospital levels. Nursing education has been brought to university and post-graduate training programmes, which have opened more opportunities for nurses and midwives to progress in their careers.

According to the World Health Organisation the world has about 28 million nurses and midwives, including 120,000 in Việt Nam. Nurses and midwives make up nearly 50 per cent of resources in healthcare. They are present in all levels of the healthcare system, and they provide the most frequent and continuous services. — VNS